Whoever You Are, Honey

Whoever You Are, Honey

A Novel

About the Book

What happens when what was once considered dystopia is now reality?

This darkly brilliant debut novel explores how women shape themselves beneath the gaze of love, friendship, and the algorithm—by a thrilling feminist voice for the age of AI.

“This book reads like a thriller, but it's also a tender and searching exploration of what it means to inhabit a female body.”—Kelly Link, author of The Book of Love

Mitty can’t quite make out the expression on Lena’s face, but she doesn’t look distressed. She looks like nothing at all. She looks like the beginning, before thoughts, a white hallway with no doors, a room so long your voice disappears before it can echo.

On the Santa Cruz, California, waterfront, every house is a flawless glass monolith. Except for one. In a dilapidated bungalow, Mitty and her elderly roommate, Bethel, are the oddball pair who represent the last vestiges of a free-spirited town taken over by the tech elite. But their lives are about to be forever changed when a new couple, Sebastian and Lena, move in next door. 
 
Sebastian is a renowned tech founder and Lena is his spellbindingly perfect girlfriend. But Lena has secrets; she feels uneasy about her oddly spotty memory and is growing increasingly wary of the way Sebastian controls their relationship. Mitty is also hiding something, and the way Lena appears to float through her luxurious life draws Mitty inexorably into her orbit. As the two women begin to form a close friendship, they are finally forced to face their pasts—and the urgent truths that could change everything. 
 
Showcasing Olivia Gatwood’s talent as an essential author for our hyper-digital age, Whoever You Are, Honey is a gripping, seductive, and prescient novel that dissects relationships between women and examines how striving for perfection and desirability plays out in spaces where technology and power intersect.
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Praise for Whoever You Are, Honey

“Set against the backdrop of an AI pioneer’s murder, Whoever You Are, Honey is built on simmering tensions at the precipice of boiling over, marked by a distinct strain of techno-pessimism endemic to someone who grew up during the rise of Silicon Valley. The twin themes of women’s loneliness and desire are the timeless beating hearts of Olivia Gatwood’s debut novel, propped up by of-the-moment ruminations on queerness and artificial intelligence.”Vogue, “The Best Books of 2024 So Far”

Whoever You Are, Honey reads like a thriller, but it’s also a tender and searching exploration of what it means to inhabit a female body. The characters—wounded, wounding, and longing for a better world—will catch you up and carry you along with them.”—Kelly Link, author of The Book of Love
 
“Here’s a novel about the vastness of feeling and friendship—their unruliness a brilliant counterpoint to the glazed screens and aspirations of the modern world.”—Anna Metcalfe, author of Chrysalis
 
“Sharp, captivating, and apt—an intimate, pitch-perfect fable of the time, I immediately went back to the start.”—Yrsa Daley-Ward, author of The Terrible

“As lush and hypnotic as a dreampop album, this is an intoxicating debut about two women, each carrying a dark secret, who desire more than they’ve been allowed to want.”—Leigh Stein, author of Self Care

“A gorgeous, haunting, tender story of women finding different kinds of love and solace in each other, Whoever You Are, Honey looks directly into the deep, dark depths of what makes us alive—and what sustains that life. I loved every minute of it.”—Gabrielle Korn, author of Yours for the Taking

Whoever You Are, Honey is a gripping, heartfelt novel—a moving exploration of unconventional friendships and the desire to be accepted and loved, not in spite of but because of our flaws. Every page sparkles with insight about human intimacy, the stories we project onto one another, and the courage to push past first impressions to a deeper, more complicated understanding.”—Kate Folk, author of Out There

“Lush with desire, pleasure, and the deep longing for connection that underlies everything we do, Whoever You Are, Honey makes the familiar new; the everyday is made sensuous, rich, and jewel-bright.”—Claudia Cravens, author of Lucky Red

“With a poet’s precision and a tremendous amount of heart, Gatwood’s debut is at once a cutting cultural critique and a twisted, tender love story. I didn’t want it to end, and I know it’ll stay with me for a long time. The Stepford Wives for a new generation is finally here in this gripping, immersive, and uncanny novel.”—Jenny Fran Davis, author of Dykette

“Olivia Gatwood’s writing is lyrical, eerily propulsive, and addictive. This is the type of novel I’m always hoping to find—I couldn’t put it down.”—Amy Taylor, author of Search History
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About the Author

Olivia Gatwood
Olivia Gatwood is the author of two poetry collections, New American Best Friend and Life of the Party, and the co-writer of Adele’s music video for "I Drink Wine." She has received international recognition for her poetry, writing workshops, and work as a Title IX Compliant educator in sexual assault prevention and recovery. Her performances have been featured on HBO, MTV, VH1, the BBC, and more. Her poems have appeared in The Poetry Foundation, Lambda Literary, and The Missouri Review. Originally from Albuquerque, she lives in Los Angeles. More by Olivia Gatwood
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